Showing mercy to a drunk driver after a fatal car crash inspires a teen addict to become sober and help others

A Bay Area man changes the course of his life after killing someone while drunk driving as a teenager has turned his life around and helps those struggling with addiction.

For Kelly Legup, a walk on the beach is a way to rejuvenate her soul.

“I love walking on the beach,” Lajeb said. “Too peaceful. You can’t beat it. There’s nothing like that.” Those steps were filled with pain.

“I probably started drinking when I was 11 or 12, and I started taking drugs maybe when I was 13 or 14,” Lajeb said.

Her life changed when she entered the Footprints Beachside Recovery Program. It is a rehabilitation center for alcohol and drug addicts.

Kelly Legap talks with a therapist at Footprints Beachside Recovery.

“When I came I was very miserable,” she said. “I didn’t think there was any hope for me, and the footprints gave me a way out. They cared when I didn’t even know I had the power to care,” Lajeb explained.

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John Templeton runs Footprints. He learned the trappings of alcoholism as a young teenager.

“I was an alcoholic and you can’t be too young to have an addiction or alcohol problem and that’s what I know,” he said.

Templeton didn’t learn this lesson until he was 19 and had a traumatic car accident.

Car after John Templeton said he collided and crashed while driving while drunk.

A car after a fatal accident in which John Templeton was drunk behind the wheel.

He said, “I was drinking and driving and not being responsible and taking someone’s life as a teenager. And you know, not only was I fortunate with the blessing of forgiveness, but I also had a chance to get my life back.”

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Templeton only spent one year in prison thanks to the kind heart of family members whose daughter died in the accident. They spoke to the judge on his behalf.

“It took me a long time to fix my life and try to keep paying for this work that I would never be able to pay, but, you know, to try to keep giving back,” Templeton said.

John Templeton in an orange jumpsuit appears before a judge after a fatal accident.

John Templeton in an orange jumpsuit appears before a judge after a fatal drunk driving accident.

To help give back for the past 14 years, Templeton and his family have been running a small, intimate 15-bed seaside drug treatment facility.

read: Hillsborough drug court helps a woman fighting addiction become sober

“We are able to customize all of our treatments individually,” explained Randy Cutolo, therapist at Footprints Beachside Recovery. “We’re able to work with that person and customize a program for them so no one really gets lost in the mix. We’re able to hone and really customize what that person needs.”

Kelly Legup and John Templeton discuss recovery from drug addiction at Footprints Beachside Recovery.

Kelly Legup and John Templeton discuss recovery from drug addiction at Footprints Beachside Recovery.

It’s a program that Templeton hopes should change the lives of others, too.

A life-changing business, step by step.

The jeep can now enjoy the beauty of the beach step by step.

Link: For more information, visit https://footprintsbeachside.com.

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